Santa Clara University

Benson Memorial Center


Jul 13, 2013
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Loyola Hall
Cost : $75

*Cancelled!* Neurophysiology of Effective Psychotherapy


Course # - CPSY x426
Loyola Hall Room 160
Credit Hours: 3

*Course has been Cancelled!*

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify universal facial expressions which reveal emotional states of our patients:
a.       Happiness
b.      Sadness
c.       Fear
d.      Anger
e.       Curiosity
  • Identify signs of autonomic activity which convey emotional arousal and relaxation -          
f.        Pupil size
g.       Visible Carotid pulse
h.      Nostril flaring
i.        Changes in breathing rhythms - sighing and holding the breath
j.        Flushing or blanching of the face and neck
  • Gross Body language and posture
k.      Upper body/lower body
l.        Leaning
m.    Arm/hand gestures
n.      Movement/stillness
  • Integrating verbal interaction with neurophysiologic signs
o.      Congruence and incongruence - how to respond
p.      A course evaluation will be completed by each participant. 

Course Description:

In the course of psychotherapy clinicians often wrestle with the timing and assessment of their interpretations and interventions. Verbal cues can take the clinician only so far in their understanding of their patients and drawing  inferences about their experiences. Other, nonverbal cues are often learned through experience and may not be consciously integrated for the clinician.

 In this course, an observational model will be presented which integrates facial expression, patterns of breathing, posture, and autonomic signs of stress and relaxation. With this model in mind, the clinician can have an additional nonverbal map of the central unconscious themes of the patient's interior world. This model also serves an informative guide to the effectiveness of the clinician's interventions. The work of Ekman, Sapolsky, and Rosen will be presented.


Robert L. Fisher, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, with forty years of experience in the areas of psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and consultation. He is a Board Certified Medical Psychotherapist and Psychodiagnostician, and a founding member of the American College of Advanced Practice Psychologists. He has been adjunct instructor at Santa Clara University, Department of Counseling Psychology for thirteen years.

Dr. Fisher has worked in hospitals and clinics for over half of his career, and routinely consults with physicians and nurses in coordinating medical and psychological services for his patients. 
More Information
Grace Perez
(408) 551-1981
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